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Archive for June 5, 2022

June 5, 2022 — Some firsts and some lasts this week in New Jersey

The 2022 girls’ lacrosse season in the state of New Jersey is seeing a dizzying array of milestones.

Yesterday, the NJSIAA crowned six girls’ lacrosse champions. One of those championships represented a first. Princeton (N.J.) Day School, which has been competing with discinction in girls’ lax since at least the early 1970s, won the NJSIAA Non-Public “B” title for small schools in the first time of asking. It was the first time a school from the Mercer County capitol region had won a public-school state championship since Princeton (N.J.) in 1985.

A few weeks ago, Princeton Day School also won the NJISAA Prep “B” championship for small independent schools. But the PDS double is not a first; Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) has, since 2015, made it a habit of winning both an NJSIAA and an NJISAA title, having pulled off the feat on four occasions.

At the same time, however, PDS and Oak Knoll are going to play each other Tuesday in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions, which is being held for the final time this year.

At the same time, the Princeton Day School program is also recognizing that, in the single-elimination format of the Tournament of Champions, the end of a remarkable coaching career could come at any time for Jill Thomas, who has coached lacrosse, basketball, and field hockey over the last 34 years on Great Road.

Thomas has cut a determined profile on campus, giving of herself as a coach, physical education teacher, and field hockey umpire. Her retirement will leave a tremendous void in the world of girls’ scholastic sports in the Garden State.

Can her Panthers continue for three more games this week? I wouldn’t be surprised.